Lake Michigan mid calf and stones supplementing spine, how I cried in the bed of the first boy who ever kissed me and you said you were sorry. The night on our first couch, my lips no longer in the curve of your shoulder blades heaving, the shame of saying I can reopen wounds like a self-made surgeon because bathroom visits in puberty taught me that flesh is just flesh and I have no heart worth more. The night on our second couch when I came to bed and told you nights apart meant I knew I was decrepit and you cried yourself to sleep; I just slept in. Wake me up before you leave, I stayed asleep for two years. This vena cava contortionist still works rooms, so I spent some time in bed. Walls are too thin for waterworks, so she told them I was unbearable as if I was something that needed to be born again. I worry I have been stolen from this birthing sack too soon and I never knew what it meant to tell someone no, but it took me two nights to write this and the tenses regarding love changed halfway through so I suppose I am growing into gunpowder now.
You are wordy as fuck, and sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut because people can see the deep dark soul through the back of your throat. You want to write about your sexploits? Here’s one for you: late at night, drunken, groping, whispered, “no, no, no” as your hands freely roam and my mouth turns sour because you said you loved me. But love isn’t waiting for someone to change, and I’ve still got my calendar counting all the days until you said it’d be better. And every other time it was, “No, no wait,” because you’re always fucking up and I just can’t hate your stupid smile that used to exist. Now you just have hollow eyes and jagged breathing from all the harm you do to your body in an attempt to cover your mind in chastity and sleep. So, you sleep with her. And now you’re empty. Is anyone supposed to care? Go ahead, paint this as liberation when your mother tells you this is a mistake. I am no longer succinct, but at least my hands don’t rape.
On a street near Silver Way I saw that God was glass-blown and remembered the things I saw in your smile under a banner of banter and baubles we kept like crows. Put me in your cubby hole for walk-home hand holds. I am asked, “Why do we listen?” and my silence is a biting retort in those seconds before we get caught up again in breathing. These bodies seem less like fragments, more like burst stars; some days I know I am comprised of nebulas and holy water stitched too tightly back together. How are we so beautiful? Keep your assessments of decades spent under your influence, I’m more like influenza now, giving you night sweats and purging your contents, keeping you plagued. Our brand of loyalty is inscribed in the word hate, like Rosetta Stones in our gallbladder, pass the time with the anger in the mirror and one finger pointed out four more back at you, so foreign. I am done settling for second best, I will be covered in ashes to show you I am a vision of permanence performed. Give me those years, I gave back the rewards.